Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about Breastfeeding
Is it necessary to take a parental breastfeeding course?
You can never be educated enough! I definitely recommend moms take a prenatal breastfeeding class, especially if this is your first baby. Be it online, one on one, or in person, getting some practical knowledge about breastfeeding will help make the process a little easier and less stressful.
Can I take my breast pump to the hospital if I prefer using my own?
Absolutely. Also, the lactation consultants at some hospitals don’t mind teaching you how to use your own pump so be sure to ask.
Can I breastfeed if I am taking pain medication?
Yes. There is nothing that should be given to you in the hospital that is not safe for breastfeeding. This includes antibiotics, narcotics and regular pain medication like Tylenol or Motrin. If you have specific questions about a particular medication you are required to take, just reach out to a Lactation Consultant.
If the baby won’t latch, what should I do?
It is normal for babies to be sleepy during the first 24 hours or so. Give the baby some time to adjust to life outside the womb. However, if your baby is interested in breastfeeding and you are having difficulty getting baby to the breast, ask your nurse for help or request to see a lactation consultant. If you are still having difficulty then initiate pumping to stimulate milk production until you can see a lactation consultant.
Do I need to take my breast pump to the hospital?
You should not need to take your personal breast pump with you to the hospital. If for some reason pumping is required, most hospitals will set you up with a double electric hospital grade breast pump. Check with the hospital where you will deliver to make sure.
What if I don’t have a breast pump?
While a variety of breast pumps are available for purchase, many insurance providers will work with you to help you obtain a quality pump. So check with the insurance company first. If you are still having trouble getting a pump, try reaching out to a lactation consultant for assistance.
How do I know if my baby is getting enough to eat while breastfeeding?
In the beginning, your baby is getting colostrum. This is the first milk you will produce in small quantities. Don’t worry about the quantity because your baby’s tummy is about the size of a gumball. As your milk comes in and your baby’s tummy gets bigger, you will need to monitor their behavior and hunger cues. Pees and poops along with weight and contentment between feedings will let you know if your baby is getting enough to eat.
Do I need to supplement with formula before my milk comes in?
Not necessarily. During the first 3 days you will produce colostrum which will be followed by transitional milk and finally mature milk. Under normal circumstances, this natural process will provide all the nutrition your baby needs. You can always reach out to a lactation consultant if you are worried.
Can I breastfeed if I have had breast surgery?
That depends. Most moms with breast augmentation have little to no issue with breastfeeding if the implant was placed behind the muscle. However, moms who had a reduction might struggle because a breast reduction often removes adipose tissue, lobules and some of the ductal system. The more of the areola that was involved in either procedure the less likely it is that you will be able to produce adequate milk. If you’ve undergone breast surgery it is best to seek the advice of a lactation consultant before you deliver to make sure you are well educated and properly prepared.
Is it ok to have caffeine or alcohol while breastfeeding.
Yes. Just because you are breastfeeding doesn’t mean you have to give up the things you like in life! it is ok to consume caffeine and alcohol in moderation while breastfeeding. However, caffeine is a stimulant and will be excreted through breastmilk so try to limit it to 1-2 servings per day. It is also preferable to consume caffeine earlier in the day versus later. It’s also ok to consume moderate amounts of alcohol while breastfeeding. Just try to avoid feeding while you’re feeling the effects of the alcohol as that is when the levels are highest in your system and most likely to be excreted through breastmilk.